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Why ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Might Be a Financial Disappointment

By Tim Beyers – Feb 23, 2014 at 9:27AM

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If one cast member is to be believed, you can forget about taking your kids to see “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Viacom's (VIAB) Paramount Pictures may be making a huge mistake with Transformers: Age of Extinction, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

In a recent interview with the good folks at Nerdist, actor Titus Welliver, who stars in the film, said that Transformers: Age of Extinction offers a "darker version of the Transformers world." He also said it's "not a kids movie." Seriously?

Believe it or not, yes. Age of Extinction isn't yet rated despite entering post-production, which at least suggests that, in its current cut, the film is violent enough to be within spitting distance of an "R" rating. Tim says that would be a huge mistake.

Not only would it hurt at the box office -- R-rated films don't draw as widely as PG-13 movies, in most cases -- but excluding young kids could also damage a tremendously valuable merchandising brand. In 2011, Hasbro (HAS -0.11%) inked deals with 325 partners to deliver product into retail stores in time for Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Similar efforts are presumably under way for Age of Extinction, which features an old favorite called the Dinobots. Yet Tim says it's unlikely that 17-year-olds will be as excited about Transformers toys and shirts as the wide-eyed youngsters who handed over allowance money for merchandise tied to the earlier films.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you hope to see in Transformers: Age of Extinction? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Viacom stock at current prices.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Hasbro. The Motley Fool owns shares of Hasbro. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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